General Cycling Discussion - Possible Fraud on Ebay
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There are two sellers on ebay offering 265 high quality bikes, at prices way too good to be true.
First seller is “keeganmo”, with “0” feedback and registered Aug 29, 2005.
Second seller is “sarahj4369”, with “”0” feedback and registered today October 4, 2005. In this case the seller wishes to use an “escrow service” known as “Trinity-Escrow” at www.trinity-escrow.com. The site advertises being in business since 1999, but WHOIS says it was registered Sept 15, 2005. Even more curious, the seller’s email address is “firstname.lastname@example.org”, which was registered by Sandra Becker of Litchfield, IL on Sept 15, 2005.
These are all high quality bikes, such as a 2005 Litespeed Vortex for a “Buy It Now” price of $1500. Too good to be true? I’m not accusing anyone of fraud, but I’ve always lived by the rule “if it looks too good to be true, it probably is”. But I may be wrong. Watch out!
10-04-05, 09:26 PM
Fraud? On ebay? I'm shocked!!!
10-04-05, 09:33 PM
They claim to be registered in california as an escrow service...it's true, but not the online part:
Basically this scammer is posing as a legitimate escrow service, and using their name falsely to serve as a legal diversion in their scam tactics. This is actually a pretty well executed scam, as the webmaster has solid knowledge of HTML and CSS (I picked their page apart), and had enough sense to use muultiple layers of deception to cover things up.
Keep in mind the name of the seller may in fact be a stolen identity, as this is the most common tactic used by these con artists, since it again is an excellent diversion, since then the true victim "the ID theft victim" now has the joy of proving him/herself innocent before they go after the real thief, and by then the thief has probably hit again.
here's the summary of proof of illegitimacy, I bolded the part that explains how this is not legit:
California Department of Corporations
Financial Services Division Licensee Address Listing
Your search for (9631836) found the following:
Licensed: Apr 12 1999
9631836 - Escrow (Main)
TRINITY ESCROW, INC.
12345 MOUNTAIN AVENUE, SUITE T & U
CHINO, CA 91710
If you are not happy with your results, please enter a license number or the name of the company you are looking for in the correct space below. The "No Longer Licensed" date is the date a record was removed from our active license listing. Any Order issued against a company will not be shown on this listing. Please call our Consumer Services Office by calling 1-(866) 275-2677 for the actual date of surrender or revocation and any additional information regarding enforcement action against a licensee.
The following companies are licensed to provide online escrow services:
If you are checking on any company other than the ones listed above, you should click here for Consumer Alerts and Online Escrow Fraud information. Many alleged online escrow companies are falsley using names similar to our licensees in an effort to deceive consumers into believing they are licensed and regulated by the State of California.
Also, many lenders are also license by the California Department of Real Estate.
10-04-05, 09:36 PM
Oh, and here is a page that has the phone number for Trinity Escrow in Chino, CA:
If you do a yahoo search for "trinity escrow" (include quotes), you do find out that there really is one, just they are NOT licensed for online escrow services.
I never buy or sell with escrow. I would never buy from these sellers either
10-04-05, 10:53 PM
I saw the Trek TT bike tonight also and thought... this has to be a scam. That's about 35% of what it retails for! As a frequent Ebayer, there were just too many red flags about that one. And after seeing all the stuff you guys dug up... I was right. I would never buy from a seller like that. Is there any way to contact Ebay and alert them that someone is about to be ripped off??
10-04-05, 11:21 PM
Report to Ebay, read the rules and safety tutorials on Ebay, mention it on the Ebay discussion boards, etc.
10-05-05, 12:10 AM
I don't have anything to add, but I just wanted to say thanks for the heads up to all of you taking the time to point it out to us. I've learnt something new and usefull from this thread.
Thanks again, fellers.
10-05-05, 04:38 AM
Too good to be true? I’m not accusing anyone of fraud, but I’ve always lived by the rule “if it looks too good to be true, it probably is”. But I may be wrong. Watch out!
Take out the "probably" and your statement would be correct.
Another one to live by.....and appropo for your question is this:
"If You have to ask if its too good to be true, then it is."
10-05-05, 05:03 AM
Usually the easiest way to sniff these scammers out is saying, "hey I live 5 miles from your location can I come by and pick up, of course I will pay cash"
The usual response will be that there company does not allow local pickup or that the actual merchandise is at some other location in another state.. Funny that the escrow service is located in Chino, that is about 5 miles from my house..
10-05-05, 06:12 AM
Wouldn't it be ironic if the scammers realised that their ridiculously low prices get more attention, and bumped their prices up to avoid suspicion? Then they'd make even more profit. Scary.
10-05-05, 08:28 AM
This sounds like the standard scam. The whole going through the escrow service thing is just to make it sound more legit. I've heard variations on this soooo many times. Usually it's overseas though not within the US (too easy to get busted if you're scamming in the same country I think).
10-05-05, 12:30 PM
There are other similar ads on ebay as well. One is for www.mobybicycle.com (now down), ebay Id moby11111. I've sent emails to ebay regarding these listings. Hope no one else gets scammed. But it looks like it's too late for some..... http://forums.ebay.com/db2/thread.jspa?threadID=1000065958&tstart=0&mod=1127323143680
10-05-05, 06:40 PM
ebay is full of fraud :(
My standard procedure is to click the "Email this item to a friend" link. The address you want to send it to is email@example.com. Just include a quick note that it looks suspicious, (I point out that no one has 200+ bikes for sale, especially someone new) and they'll take care of the rest.
Second seller is “sarahj4369”, with “”0” feedback and registered today October 4, 2005.
10-05-05, 08:14 PM
Trying to rip off bikers? Damn them all to hell!
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